7469 - Restrained From Sin - 1 John 3:9


Audio transcript

We welcome you to join us in a study in God’s Word.

We are involved in a close study of the first epistle of the Apostle John. Today we are looking at 1 John 3:9. It reads:

“No one born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God.”

This verse tells us that God restrains His children from sin. How does He do this?

It tells us that each one of God’s children is restrained from following the old sinful lifestyle by the Holy seed which God has planted within this person. And because of the power of this indwelling seed the one in whom it dwells cannot go on sinning.

This truth is consistent with John’s previous presentation that the inner character of a person will regulate his conduct. It's true that the new life given by Christ Jesus establishes an entirely new character which will likewise produce an entirely new set of actions from a believer.

2 Peter (1:3-4) tells us that God’s divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness. This includes the divinely precious promises with which we are to become familiar, and then claim in our lives. It goes on to say that as we claim these resources that we actually participate in the divine nature. And when we trust and rely upon this truth from God, then we are able to escape the corruption by which the worldly kingdom seeks to lead us astray by evil desires.

Let us understand that being born of God transforms our being. We are not the old self any longer. Nor are we to hold onto that old nature which belongs to our former manner of life.

We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has gone, the new has come.”

May we comprehend that our new self includes an indwelling new seed from God which remains in us. Many scholars tell us that this is indeed the very Spirit of God which comes to take up residence in God’s new child. We know that the Holy Spirit does come to dwell in each Believer (1 Cor. 6:19), but the Bible also (1 Cor. 3:16) tells us that we are God’s temple, so that means that the Father lives in us as well.

Add to these insights the fact that our life is not our own, but is actually the person of Christ living His life in and through us (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27). When we wrap our understanding around these jewels we come to see that no less than the Triune God is the seed of God.

Someone may accept these facts as being true in the life of a new believer, but may have anxiety that when the believer sins God will leave them. True, believers do stumble into sin. We do not reach sinless perfection until heaven. But God is not here today and gone tomorrow.

His promise is that He will be with us always, even to the end of this age (Matt. 28:20). This is a permanent arrangement within every true child of God. He says I will never leave you or forsake you (Heb. 13:5).

When a believer stumbles in sin, we learn to quickly repent and confess, so that God may forgive and cleanse.

With this background, we can more fully understand that when a person is born of God, things change –– for the better. God does not expect a new Christian to suddenly, in his own power and strength, be able to stand against the devil. But He knows that when the Triune God dwells within the believer, this new believer will be unable to go on sinning. The very character and power from the spiritual parents will flow in him and through him in such a way that life will be different.

Such an understanding should bring from every believer a chorus of praise to our God who has such love and compassion, such power and wisdom to transfer us from lowly sinners to saved saints. Now it will take a lifetime for the sanctification to fully produce the image of Jesus Christ from this unworthy raw material, but oh how blessed we are!